Congress leader and Member of Parliament Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said that there has been no change in the security situation in Jammu & Kashmir given the targeted killings and bomb blasts here. He, however, stated he would not go back to past, but would look forward to the best in the Union Territory.
Addressing a press conference in Taj Vivanta Hotel in Srinagar, Rahul Gandhi, as per the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said he was not happy to what he saw in Jammu and Kashmir.
“In fact, I was saddened when I walked through J&K as nobody is happy here and Ladakh as well.”
He added restoration of democratic process and statehood is imperative and the fundamental right of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
Gandhi, who was flanked by General Secretary Incharge Communication, Jairam Ramesh, Incharge J&K Rajni Patil, JKPCC president, Vikar Rasool Wani, former PCC president Ghulam Ahmad Mir, former MP Tariq Hameed Karra, PCC working president Raman Bhalla, former deputy chief minister Tara Chand and others, said the motive behind the Yatra was to spread love amid hatred being spread by BJP and RSS across the country.
“The yatra has culminated in Srinagar and main function will be held tomorrow. I got a lot to experience through this yatra, I met lakhs of people, talked to them, I have no words to describe my journey as I got a good response from the people all across including J&K. It was the best experience of my life,” he said.
Gandhi said during the Yatra people raised two important issues which included unemployment and price hike. “I thank all the people across the country, media and the Yatris, CRPF, police and others who extended their support to us,” he said.
He further said the Yatra was not Congress party’s Yatra, instead of party leaders, who walked most in it. “The Yatra gave an alternative vision to the people amidst existing BJP & RSS vision that is filled with hatred and violence. Now, the people have two days with them, one is aimed to suppress people and another is full of love and affection,” he said.
He further said this yatra has not ended but it is a first step as there is a lot more to do in future for an alternative vision for the people and some active measures will be taken in this regard.
About his yatra in J&K, he said he met a lot of people here and nobody is happy. “I met people in Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir, nobody was happy here. I am not happy with what I see in J&K, in fact, I got saddened when I walk through J&K. While entering J&K, a strange idea came to my mind about my family that descended from J&K and went to Allahabad,” he said.
He said it felt like he was going home and that was a powerful feeling. “I have affection towards people of J&K. I came here with open heart and open arms to help in whatever way I can. I was humbled with the reception we got. I think love and affection and listening is a powerful force,” he said while replying to a query.
On being asked about abrogation of Article and its restoration, he said they cleared their position in party’s working committee document.
About the improvment in security situation, he said the argument doesn’t work at a time of targetted killings, bomb blasts and other things.
“If the situation has improved, let Union Home Minister Amit Shah hold a rally from Jammu to Srinagar,” he said.
About the land laws, he said he has already spoke over the issue and whenever elected government is formed, it can take a decision accordingly.
As Mirwaiz addresses Friday sermons after 4 years, former CMs among J&K leaders welcome move
The former chief ministers of erstwhile J&K state and other leaders from different political parties on Friday welcomed the administration’s move to allow Jamia Masjid’s head cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to deliver Friday sermons after the gap of four years.
The political leaders expressed their views on X (formerly Twitter).
National Conference (NC) Vice President Omar Abdullah hoped that the administration would allow Mirwaiz to move freely, interact with people and resume his social and religious responsibilities.
“I welcome the step taken by the administration in J&K to release Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from house arrest. I hope that they allow him to move freely, interact with people & resume his social/religious responsibilities. Today eyes in Kashmir will be on Mirwaiz as he delivers his first Friday sermon in Jamia Masjid after 2019,” Omar wrote on X.
Former chief minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President, Mehbooba Mufti said that Mirwaiz will walk free after years of LG administration’s denial about his detention.
“Finally Mirwaiz Umer Farooq will walk free after years of LGs admin’s denial about his detention. As a religious head he is held in high regard by muslims across J&K. Unfortunate that a tussle has already begun between BJPs various political outfits to claim credit for his release,” Mehbooba Mufti wrote on X.
Peoples Conference (PC) Chairman and former minister, Sajad Gani Lone welcomed Mirwaiz’s release and stated that he symbolises a tradition, which is primarily religious in nature but also has strong societal connotations.
“Welcome the release of Mirwaiz Umar Farooq sahib. It is a joyous day for all of us to hopefully see him leading the prayers. He symbolises a tradition which is primarily religious in nature but also strong societal connotations. This tradition has been routinely interrupted in the last three decades, by all governments. Hope this tradition proposers uninterrupted,” Sajad Lone wrote on X.
Former minister and Apni Party President, Syed Altaf Bukhari thanked Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha for Mirwaiz’s release.
“Deeply gratified & delighted by the long-awaited release of Mirwaiz Sahib. This momentous event has indeed ushered in a collective sigh of relief among the masses, particularly his devoted followers. Thanks to @AmitShah @manojsinha_” Altaf Bukhari wrote on X.
CPI (M) and former legislator, Muhammad Yousuf Tarigami said releasing Mirwaiz from illegal confinement is a welcome move, saying that difference of opinion is an important ingredient of democracy, but it should not be used as an excuse to curtail the fundamental rights of people.
“Releasing Mirwaiz Umar Farooq from illegal confinement is a welcome step. Mirwaiz is a well-respected & influential religious leader. Difference of opinion is an important ingredient of democracy. It should not be used as an excuse to curtail the fundamental rights of people. Hope the government respects different shades of opinions, including the media,” Tarigami wrote on X.
Waqf Board Chairperson and BJP leader, Dr Darakshan Andrabi termed the release of Mirwaiz as an appreciable decision by the administration.
Religious scholars belong to all & no group or political party has a copyright for any religious personality, she said.
“Congratulations to respected Brother #MirwaizUmarFarooq Sahib. It is soothing to see you after a highly appreciable decision by the Administration. Religious scholars belong to all & no group or political party has a copyright for any religious personality. I hope, this time politico-theatrical statements will not shadow the happiness of the release of Mirwaiz. Wishing him great for future,” Dr Darakshan Andrabi wrote on X. KNO
Altaf Bukhari welcomes release of Dawoodi, Mushtaq Veeri
Apni Party President Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari, on Friday, welcomed the release of two prominent religious leaders in the valley, Moulana Abdul Rashid Dawoodi, the head of Tehreek-e-Sout-ul Auliya, and Moulana Mushtaq Ahmed Veeri, who is affiliated with Jamiat-Ahle-Hadees (JaH). Pertinently, the J&K High Court today quashed the detention orders of both the Muslim clerics, who were booked under the Public Safety Act in September last year and lodged at Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu.
In his statement issued to Asian News Hub (ANH), Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari expressed his satisfaction with the release of Moulana Dawoodi and Moulana Veeri, and said, “It brings me immense pleasure that the honorable High Court has ordered the release of these prominent religious leaders, who hold a significant following across the Valley. Their release is highly commendable.”
Reiterating his demand for the release of other religious leaders such as Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Moulana Manzoor, Apni Party president said, “I request the LG Administration to consider the release of Mirwaiz Sahib and Moulana Manzoor as well.”
“These religious leaders wield remarkable influence over the people and can play a pivotal role in helping to eradicate social evils, especially the fast-spreading issue of drug abuse in the Valley” . He added.
‘Ghar Wapsi’: Fayaz Mir disassociates himself from PC, likely to join PDP
Former Member of Parliament, Fayaz Mir has disassociated himself from People’s Conference and said no active politics due to personal reasons.
Mir on X wrote,”To all my people,I would like to inform that due to some family commitments I have decided to keep myself away from active political engagements. Thankful to all my people for their support.”
Mir had joined the People’s Conference in August 2021 after leaving PDP. If sources are to be believed, Mir is likely to join PDP back.
In the last assembly election, Fayaz Ahmad Mir secured 24603 votes from Kupwara Assembly segment but lost to PC’s Bashir Ahmad Dar by a wafer-thin margin of 151 votes.
Mir, was a former MP of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from north Kashmir. KDC
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